Criminal Justice Major: Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice


What is Criminal Justice?

Criminal Justice is the study of crimes and the inner workings of the criminal justice system. In this criminal justice degree program, you'll learn to identify and analyze crimes using social science, forensic science, and political science. You'll hear from professors who study patterns of criminal behavior, the philosophy of punishment for crimes, and the American legal system. GMercyU is among the top criminal justice schools in PA and will allow you to forge a path into a career within the criminal justice system.

Prepare for a Career in Criminal Justice

Gwynedd Mercy University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice combines practical knowledge with theory to give you a solid foundation for your next steps toward a career in criminal justice. Through classroom and hands-on education, GMercyU is a criminal justice school that will prepare you for immediate entry into the field, as well as for graduate school or law school upon obtaining our criminal justice degree.

The GMercyU Difference

GMercyU's Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice is dedicated to helping you cultivate the skills you need to establish a career in areas such as law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, private security, and related social services fields. Our criminal justice program instructors bring real-world experience to each class, making your time at Gwynedd Mercy University as current as the events of the day.

GMercyU also provides a learning environment that is different than what you will find at other Criminal Justice colleges in PA.

Benefits of our criminal justice degree program include:

  • Personalized instruction with our low 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio  
  • Courses taught by experts in the field (no teaching assistants)
  • Guided visits to local and state correctional facilities 
  • Guest speakers including regional criminal justice leaders. Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and world-renowned criminologist Dr. Jack Levin recently spoke to students about serial killing and mass murder.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program®

The GMercyU Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program® brings incarcerated and non-incarcerated students together as peers for weekly meetings at the Federal Detention Center of Philadelphia.

During the meetings – held all semester-long -- GMercyU “outside” students and “inside” students exchange thoughts and perspectives about crime, the criminal justice system, corrections, and imprisonment.

Learn more about GMercyU’s Inside-Out Program.

Career Opportunities

GMercyU’s Criminal Justice students have worked or interned for a variety of institutions, including:

  1. United States Department of Homeland Security 
  2. PA State Police 
  3.   Walmart
  4. Target
  5. Philadelphia Police Department
  6.   Einstein Hospital

Prepare to Become a Police Officer

As a GMercyU Criminal Justice major, you have the option of attending the Montgomery County Police Academy at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus in Conshohocken, Pa. Here, you can earn your Act 120, which is an essential step in pursuing a career as a police officer.  If you're accepted into this criminal justice program, this special training is offered during your senior year as part of your four-year degree without extended time or expense, unlike other criminal justice schools.

Undergraduate Minors 

Increase the value of your criminal justice degree by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of minors so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.


In addition to General Education requirements, students seeking a criminal justice degree must complete the following courses:

Major Requirements

CRJ 102  Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRJ 215 Criminology
CRJ 220  Ethics in Criminal Justice
CRJ 225   Juvenile Delinquency
CRJ 301  Introduction to Private Security
CRJ 310 Introduction to Criminal Justice Research
CRJ 320 Forensics: Crime Scene Investigation
CRJ 326 Criminal Procedures
CRJ 327 Criminal Law
CRJ 370 Corrections
CRJ 401  Theories of Crime & Deviance
CRJ 405 Criminal Investigations
CRJ 410 Courts in America
CRJ 435 Criminal Justice Internship(s)
CRJ 4000   CRJ Capstone
CRJ 4 Electives  (chosen from CRJ 275, 285, 355, 415, 437 or 490)

Credit Requirements
A minimum of 120 credits is required for the bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

See the undergraduate catalog (PDF) for more information and course descriptions.


Internship Opportunities

GMercyU’s Criminal Justice majors have worked or interned for a variety of institutions, including:

  • Abington Police Department
  • ATF Field Office
  • Bucks County Juvenile Probation
  • Glaxo-Smith Kline
  • GMercyU Public Safety Department
  • Lansdale Police Department
  • Montgomery County Department of Corrections
  • Montgomery County Detective Bureau
  • Montgomery County Department of Probation and Parole
  • Norristown Police Department
  • Pennsylvania Prison Society - Philadelphia, PA
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Philadelphia Department of Probation & Parole
  • Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
  • Philadelphia Police Department Crime Scene Unit
  • Pottstown Police Department
  • Target – Department of Loss Prevention
  • Upper Dublin Police Department
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Walmart – Loss Prevention Unit
  • Warrington Police Department

Where our graduates work after graduation

•    Abington Police Department
•    ATF Field Office
•    Bucks County Juvenile Probation
•    Glaxo-Smith Kline
•    GMercyU Public Safety Department
•    Lansdale Police Department
•    Montgomery County Department of Corrections
•    Montgomery County Detective Bureau
•    Montgomery County Department of Probation and Parole
•    Norristown Police Department
•    Pennsylvania Prison Society - Philadelphia, PA
•    Pennsylvania State Police
•    Philadelphia Department of Probation & Parole
•    Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
•    Philadelphia Police Department Crime Scene Unit
•    Pottstown Police Department
•    Target – Department of Loss Prevention
•    Upper Dublin Police Department
•    U.S. Department of Homeland Security
•    Walmart – Loss Prevention Unit
•    Warrington Police Department



Our Outstanding Faculty

Career Outcomes

Future prospects for a career in Criminal Justice

With a median pay of $56,980 for police and detectives (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), having a criminal justice degree creates a future for you to build upon. It will also prepare you for careers in a wide range of other areas within the criminal justice field, as well as for graduate or law school.

Possible careers for criminal justice majors:

  • Attorney
  • Body Guard
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • CIA Agent
  • Community Service Coordinator
  • Compliance Manager
  • Corrections Officer
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Deportation Officer
  • Detective
  • Drug Enforcement Agent
  • FBI Agent
  • Firefighter
  • Juvenile Court Counselor
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Paralegal
  • Parole / Probation Officer
  • Police Detective
  • Private Investigator
  • Secret Service Agent
  • Social Worker
  • State Police Officer
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Teacher
  • US Marshall

*Some of these careers may require additional education.
*This is only a partial list and not meant to limit you.